We can beat drop says Sheringham FC boss
Sheringham manager John Kowalyk is convinced his new-look side have got what it takes to maintain their Anglian Combination Premier Division status this season.
The Shannocks will begin 2013 in the bottom three, with just six points to their name from 11 fixtures, but they hinted at better things to come in their most recent fixture when they hammered fellow strugglers North Walsham Town 5-1.
That win was achieved with a number of new faces in the starting line-up and Kowalyk believes better times are just around the corner for a side who kicked off the season with a string of heavy defeats.
The poor start prompted his predecessor Ben Price – now playing at Holt – to call it a day and the Shannocks turned to the man who once guided them to title success and a place in the Norfolk Senior Cup FInal in their hour of need.
'The club means a lot to me so I was happy to help out, even though I knew it was going to be tough,' said Kowalyk. 'The results at the start of the season spoke for themselves – we just didn't have the players to be competitive at this level.
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'Even at that early stage we looked in trouble and right from the start I had just one target – to make sure the club avoided relegation. We showed some improvement early on and then reverted to type – so I decided to bring in some new players and they certainly made a difference against North Walsham.'
Price initially stayed on as a player but recently decided to try his luck down the road at Holt following his successor's shuffling of the squad.
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'Pricey decided he wanted to go and it was all amicable,' said Kowalyk. 'I just felt we needed to bring in one or two players from outside to stand a chance of staying up. We still have plenty of local lads in the squad, and there are youngsters like Jodi Norris and Shane Cox coming through – but I just felt they needed some help. I have heard a few people grumbling about outsiders coming in but what do you do? I want this club to stay up.'
The turnaround in personnel has seen Ben Furlong return to the club from Cromer while Harry Maddison (Acle), Brendan Burke (Gorleston) and Johnny Miller (Kirkley & Pakefield) have also signed up in addition to Ben Watson and Sammy Mallett.
'With the squad I have now I am sure we will stay up,' said Kowalyk, the man who spent much of the previous decade transforming the Shannocks from a struggling junior club into one of the Anglian Combination's genuine big hitters.
'We've just got to continue to play like we did against North Walsham, starting with our next game at Hempnall (on Saturday, January 5).'
If Sheringham manage to take all three points from their fellow strugglers they will then be in good heart for what should be a derby match to savour against near neighbours and reigning champions Cromer Town at the Recreation Ground the following Saturday.